Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘stash enhancement’ Category

Full Confession

Posted by notthatkat on January 5, 2008

Remember how I said the other day that I want to continue to knit mostly from my stash? Well, I went to my (favorite) LYS today with a friend as she is having her twice annual store wide sale right now. I did buy some yarn, but I was fairly restrained and almost all of the yarn that came home with me already has designated projects. I know I’m rationalizing a bit, but I also have spent so little on yarn in recent months, I felt a little splurge wasn’t unreasonable. No sweater quantities of yarn followed me home, and I spent a fraction of what I did in July.

Clog Yarn

At Christmas, my nephew Patrick asked me if I would make him slippers, and I of course agreed. We discussed color choices, and his only request was for green. Not green and a neutral shade, but all green. I went stash diving, but was unable to come up with 2 different feltable yarns in coordinating shades of green that would work. This is the combo I came up with today.

Pirate Hat Yarn

I want to do another Pirate Hat, this time for me, and this yarn worked so well the last time, I went back for more. It is the right weight, fairly inexpensive, and works up well, It is a bit scratchy to work with, but softens up nicely in the wash.

Regia Silk 6 ply

I loved working with the self striping Regia Silk, and the socks I’ve made with this yarn is really holding up well. I’ve been wanting to try the solid color version ever since. I don’t have a specific sock pattern in mind for this one, but I’m thinking something lacy that will really pop in this yarn.

Green Sock Yarn

This yarn just begs to be knit up into Thelonious, to me.   This might be the next socks to jump on the needles, when the current ones are done.

Mountain Colors 4/8's

This yarn kept calling to me, and as hard as I tried to resist, putting it back on the shelf three separate times, it wanted to come home with me.   I’ve been looking through the stash for yarn for a Koolhaas hat, but nothing seems quite right.  Either it’s too variegated, or it’s a solid that I can’t wear near my face, or I have too little, or it’s the wrong gauge, or another project it’s earmarked for… you get the idea.  This yarn will make a very nice Koolhaas, I think.  The tonal variegation is enough to add interest, but not so much as to fight the stitch pattern.

So that was it.  I spent a bit over half of the maximum I had allowed for myself, and I think I done good.  Now I’m not buying yarn again in the near future.  How long?  Dunno.  I haven’t made a firm commitment not to buy yarn for X period of time.  I just want to only buy yarn if there is nothing appropriate in the stash, and making knitting with stashed yarns a priority.

Colortweed Socks

The Colortweed socks and Thermal are neck and neck at the moment to see who will be the first FO for 2008.  Colortweed seems to be eeking ahead.  (I didn’t take another picture of the Thermal sleeves – they don’t look that different)  I have more actual knitting left to do on Thermal, but I’m focusing on that project more also, so it’s anyone’s guess.  I’m about half way through the sleeve caps, but I still have the neckline and placket to do as well.  I’m hoping to have the sleeves off the needles tonight.

Bee Fields continues to languish in the bottom of the knitting bag, but I promise to concentrate on this once Thermal is done.

Merino Tencel Single

I’ve managed to spin for 4 out of the last 5 days, for at least 30 minutes a day, and have made progress on my lace weight yarn.  I still have a ways to go before I’m ready to ply, but I’m making noticeable progress and if I continue at this rate, I’ll have no problem finishing this yarn by the end of the month.  Since pictures of slightly fuller bobbins don’t make for exciting blogging, don’t be surprised if you don’t see much more of this until I’m ready to ply.


Posted in socks, spinning, Spun Stitches, stash enhancement | 2 Comments »

This is why I rarely go to my LYS anymore!

Posted by notthatkat on July 21, 2007

Warning! Danger Will Robinson! blatant Yarn P0rN ahead! Consider yourself warned!

As I said the other day, my LYSO held her annual Christmas in July sale this week (Thurs-Sat) and I met friends there after work today. Now, in my defense, most of what I got was deeply discounted (the discontinued yarn up to 70% off), is earmarked for specific project, or was bought in project sized quantities. Furthermore, I haven’t been to my LYS since the last sale – in January, and I used the last bit of my hoarded tax refund money. I regret nothing!

All that being said, I fell off the wagon. Hard.

Luxuary Yarn

This was the deal of the day. 10 balls of 100% silk fingering weight yarn in a dusty teal color. Not cheap, at least by my yardstick, but a third of the pre-discontinued price. I don’t have a specific project for this, but I have enough to do at least a short sleeved sweater. I do have an idea of what I want – just not sure I can find it. I might design the pattern myself.

Lana D'Oro

Enough Lana D’Oro for either a Rogue or a Cable Down Raglan. I already have some Wool of the Andes in my stash I was planning to use for CDR, but again I could go either way on that one too. Which do y’all think?

Indiecita Alpaca

Enough Indiecita Alpaca to do a long sleeved sweater as long as it doesn’t have (much) cabling. This yarn is not hot pink like it looks in the photo – more of a dusty rose.

Shetland Lace

I got 4 skeins (just over 1000 yards) of 2 ply Shetland lace weight. The colors on this yarn have wonderful complexity and depth. From a distance it appears blue-grey but it has lots of subtle heathering and variegation.


There were only 3 skeins of this lovely purple Hempathy left in the clearance basket, but I have some pink in my stash that I think it will work well with. I’m thinking I might take a page from Grumperina’s Book and make The Bag from No Sheep For You.

Heaven Adirondack

Heaven African Violet

These two lonely skeins were in the clearance baskets priced at a measly $5 each – about 1/4 of retail price. Each is enough to make a decent sized scarf (Christmas knitting is coming, after all).


I’ve been longing for this color of Trekking since I first laid eyes on it several months ago. I’ve picked it up and put it back more than once. It wasn’t quite as deeply discounted as some of my other purchases, but I figured if I’m going to get it (and it was seeming inevitable) I might as well get it on sale.


Last but not least (yes, there is an end to all this blatant consumerism), I got 3 skeins of Lanett, a superwash merino that I think will make a good substitute for Louet Gems, which is, sadly, not available to me locally. It is enough to make any of the non-knee socks from Cookie’s collection. I’m thinking Gothic Spire at the moment, but that may change.

Thus ends the Yarn P0rn. Now I’m gonna climb back on that wagon and try to stay there until SAFF, at least.

So, who else was at the local bookstore at midnight to get Harry Potter 7? Since I don’t have kids, and my sister’s family decided to skip the release party due to scheduling conflicts, I decided to wait to get there until after 10. I did use a gift card left over from my birthday to treat myself to Charmed Knits in keeping with the theme of the evening. Then I joined the end of the already forming line (in line by 10:45) and pulled out my spindle and roving and proceeded to spin for the next hour or so. This is one of my first times spindle spinning in public. I got a few questions and second looks, and the most frequent comment I heard as people were passing by was “cool” (most of these people were in the pre-25 set, and since I am decidedly not, I found this fascinating and thrilling.)

Spindle with superwash merino

I got a fair bit of spinning done and have spun up about a quarter of of this roving. I am planning to spin up the first half (2 oz) and Navajo ply, then repeat with the second half to give me two ~2 oz skeins of sock weight yarn. We’ll see if the reality matches the intention.

Getting in line early was a good idea, as I had my book and was out the door by 12:05. They were snaking the line through the aisles and I was in the turn between the second and third aisle back. By the time they started handing out books, the line went all the way down one side of the store and half way back up the other side.

Hokie Jaywalkers

I’ve made a bit of progress on my Hokie Jaywalkers, and although they seem a bit loose at the moment, I keep reminding myself that they will tighten up at the ankle when I start working the pattern all the way around the sock.

PSA: Moth balls are very bad for dogs. And kids. Keep them away from those who don’t have enough knowledge to leave them alone. And if, for some reason, your dog (or child) does get into them, seek help right away. Early intervention means a better chance of saving a life and minimizing symptoms (this is true for any potential toxin exposure).

Posted in socks, spinning, stash enhancement, Tour de Fleece, work | 2 Comments »

FO – Fine Cabled Mitts

Posted by notthatkat on July 19, 2007

Fine Cabled Mitts

These were a great quick knit and they came out fabulous. I will certainly make them again, maybe next time for myself.


Pattern: Fine Cabled Mitts by Anne Hanson (yes, the love of all things Anne continues unabated) Large size

Yarn: Handspun Merino  I had about 3 1/2 oz -350 yards and I have a fair bit leftover.  The estimate of 200 yards was about right.

Needles 2.75 mm (US2) 16 inch circulars – I worked both at the same time much like I do socks.

Fine Cabled Mitts

Started: July 15, 2007

Finished: July 18, 2007

Modifications: Changed the cable crossing on right mitt to the opposite direction – symmetry, ya know.

Hokie Toes

We now return you to Summer of Socks knitting already in progress…

This yarn was a custom order from Scout in Virginia Tech colors.  She doesn’t have it listed in her color gallery, but if any Hokie knitters would like a skein of their very own, I’m sure she’d be glad to  recreate it.  I am planning to do toe-up Jaywalkers.

I have managed to knit a few dozen rows on my Pehuén shell this week, but it just doesn’t seem very photogenic at the moment.  The farther I get on the front, the more tempted I am to rip out the back and re-knit it alternating balls of yarn every couple rows.

Despite my efforts at yarn dieting, I managed to acquire a few new fibery items this week:

STR Lightweight

This arrived in my mailbox on Monday.  The skeins in the middle and right were replacements for yarn with issues that was sent back.  The one on the left was a total surprise, but the colorway (Lunasea) is one I’ve been longing for since it first went up on the Blue Moon Site.  Thanks, Tina.

Russian Laceweight

This came yesterday: 5 skeins of laceweight wool at 1613 m per 100 g skein.  At a bit more than seven dollars a skein after shipping this was too good a deal to pass up.

Finally I joined Yarn Pirate’s Booty Club last month (timing is everything) and my first shipment arrived today.  I’m putting the picture behind a cut so as not to inadvertantly spoil anyone else in the club that hasn’t gotten their package yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in FO, socks, stash enhancement, summer of socks | 3 Comments »

FO – Undulating Rib Socks

Posted by notthatkat on May 17, 2007

These socks just flew off the needles. I was surprised to find out how little the uneven nature of my handspun yarn impacted the sock when it was knitted up. This might be more of a factor in a solid or more subtly variegated yarn, but it was a complete non-issue with these socks.

Midnight Hour Socks

The ribbing gives it just the right amount of cling. They are soft and squishy, and everything a hand spun hand knit sock should be. They are the same length, although they don’t look it in the picture above. They are decidedly fraternal, as I knew they would be.

A close-up of the ribbing pattern:

Pattern – Undulating Rib Socks from Favorite Socks.

Yarn – Hand spun 2 ply average 16wpi from Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop roving (superwash merino) in the colorway Midnight Hour

Modifications: worked toe up with Judy’s Magic Cast-On and short row heel.

I had this much yarn left after weaving in all my ends:

Midnight Hour Leftovers

Cutting it kind of close, but I got socks of respectable length out of 4 ounces of roving.

I got my order from Scout the other day:

Yarn from Scout

On the bottom left is Van Gogh in superwash/nylon

On the bottom right is Hokies in superwash/nylon

On top is Gimlet in bamboo/superwash/nylon

For my next sock project, I am making a friend thong toe socks out of the Gimlet colorway. I thought it especially fitting for Project Spectrum this month.

Posted in FO, socks, stash enhancement | 1 Comment »

Road trip to Atlanta

Posted by notthatkat on May 14, 2007

I had a great weekend, and although I am tired, it was totally worth the trip. I worked my usual half day on Saturday, then drove about halfway to Atlanta where some friends live. Once there, we did a bit of shopping. Nothing too exotic, just Kohl’s, Lowes, Target, etc. While in Target, I somehow wound up in the purse section. While I’m not the bag addict that some people are, I do appreciate a cute bag, and wanted to get something more spring/summer than the distressed leather one I’ve been using. I found two I liked. A lot. Being unable to decide between the two, I did the only logical thing and got both:

my new bags

What clinched the deal was how well both bags match my Go-Knit pouch, despite having very different colors in them. The bag on the right is the one I plan to use for everyday. It is a bit smaller than my previous purse, which will hopefully cut down on how much unnecessary junk I carry around. The one on the right, I almost didn’t get, because I tend to expand to fill any purse I carry, and this could be a problem with this bag. But then I got to looking at it and saw how many little pockets and compartments it had, and decided it would make a perfect knitting bag. Or a combo knitting bag/purse. So I will reserve it for such occasions when I want a more roomy bag.

Even though these are friends I see fairly regularly, it was great to get together with them even though the visit was brief.

I got up bright and early and drove the rest of the way to Atlanta. I arrived about noon and drove to Knitch, where they were having a Mother’s Day Sit-and-Knit event. Even though I brought neither my Mom (who lives two states away) nor a child (not having one, and not feeling the need to steal one), I did sit and knit for a while, since my meeting did not start until 3. The staff was very nice, and I got to talk to some very nice knitters and other crafters. I may have brought a few items home with me as well.

Knitch Haul

The tissue paper is Knitch’s signature aqua color, and they wrap everything up in it. On the left is some Merino/Silk roving from Ashland Bay in the uninspiringly named colorway green. It does have greens, but also oranges and browns and white. It looks loverly and should spin up to a very interesting yarn. Then we have Claudia’s Handpainted Silk Lace in Honey. This is outside my typical color selection, but I loved it and I think it’s a good subtle varigation that will work better with a lot of lace than a more contrasting yarn (which most of them were). Continuing to the left is Claudia’s Handpainted Fingering in Walk in the Woods. On the right is Jade Sapphire‘s 2 ply Mongolian Cashmere. I am thinking about making the Wine and Roses Mitts from IK Winter 2006, although I reserve the right to change my mind. I also got DPN’s – Brittany Birch US size 2’s 5″ on the right, Lantern Moon ebony US size 1 5″ on the right. Across the top, looking not very photogenic is my new set of blocking wires. These will come in handy, and were at a much better price than some other sets I’ve seen. I’m not usually this spendy, but I just got my tax refund, and had a bit of extra money for a couple indulgences.

I went on to my meeting and had a good time there. John’s first Knuck were stealthily examined and tried on by another friend of the male variety. The size was declared good, so I will cast it off and start on the second. I saw many very good friends that I only get to see a few times a year in connection with this organization. Oh, yes, and got a bit of work done. After dinner I did the long drive home from Atlanta. I do better when the meetings are on Saturday, and I get the long leg done early and only have to drive partway back that night. But I was careful, and took plenty of breaks as I needed them.

I worked on my homespun socks a bit over the weekend, and this is what they look like now:

Homespun Socks

They are decidedly fraternal, with the one on the left having a bit of a dark side, but I’m okay with that. I am using the Undulating Rib pattern from Favorite Socks, although I am working toe up. I will post the mods when I’m done.

On the curtains, I knit 6 rows, then tinked and reknit 4 rows.

For the cute animal photo entry of the day, I present Fred


Posted in socks, stash enhancement, WIP | Leave a Comment »